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3 Die Off Malibu in Midair Collision

Two private planes go down near Broad Beach. All of the bodies are found.

August 23, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Two small, private planes crashed in midair off the coast of Malibu on Sunday, killing three people, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.

The planes collided about 5:30 p.m. near Broad Beach, said Deputy Rich Pena. The Coast Guard, a sheriff's emergency services dive team and county lifeguards searched for survivors until dark, he said.

Three bodies were found -- one washed ashore and two were discovered in one of the downed planes -- but none of the victims was identified Sunday. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said rescuers briefly believed there may have been a fourth person missing before officials confirmed only three people were aboard the planes. One of the planes was based in Torrance and the other kept in Santa Paula, officials said.

Recreational kayakers in the area first reported the crash to authorities, Pena said, and they also helped recover parts of the floating wreckage. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are investigating the crash.

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